Asia Feature

Catching up with Simon Dale, Managing Director of South East Asia

April 7, 2020

After a long and rewarding career at his previous company, Simon was looking for the next step in his development. He was looking for a company that had a proven track record and huge growth opportunity. That’s when Adobe called. As Adobe’s Managing Director of South East Asia, Simon is helping to drive the team’s go-to-market strategy, as well as helping his team succeed. Find out more in our catch up with Simon.

Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. Can you tell me a little about your career journey up until joining adobe?

After graduating in computer science, I was a mainframe programmer and database administrator at a couple of UK blue chip companies. In 1993, I joined a software vendor in a presales role and subsequently an Israeli enterprise web company that was eventually acquired by SAP in 2001. I then moved to Singapore and launched the tech business for SAP in Asia Pacific Japan (APJ), building that into a €300m+ perpetual license business, also creating the first specialist sales teams. In 2013 I launched a new cloud business for SAP, building out data centres and a new specialized sales team. I left SAP in 2017 after over 16 years and I ran MapR Technologies – a big data platform – across APJ where our strongest market was Japan. After this I helped a Chinese IoT software company setup in Singapore before joining Adobe. It’s been quite a journey!

And what was it that drew you to join Adobe?

It’s a really strong brand and the opportunity to bring my skillset to the B2B side of the business was very attractive. Adobe is the poster child of Cloud transformation and the more I engaged with Adobe on what we are and what we do, the more I saw that the marketing B2B side was a hidden gem that I hadn’t fully understood before.

I believe the incremental opportunity for both Document and Experience Cloud is huge and has the potential to grow rapidly to extend the Adobe brand strongly.

Tell me about your role. What excites you about your role?

As the Managing Director of South East Asia I’m responsible for leading the company’s accelerated growth and delivering exceptional customer experiences across our Digital Experience and Digital Media business units. We have a very attractive market, challenging but engaging and with a lot of potential to provide growth for Adobe. As I have built and developed teams previously I relish the opportunity to help the South East Asia team take advantage of this opportunity and develop their careers, as well as have an impact on local economies and individuals.

What’s a quote you live by that explains your leadership style?

I actually have two mottos. The first is “work smarter, not harder” which is why I promote lifelong learning and encourage my teams to invest in the Adobe learning fund wisely. Because Adobe offers $10,000 USD for certifications or classes, and another $1,000 USD for conferences, there’s no reason not to use it.

My second is “don’t ask, don’t get” as this is key to taking full advantage of opportunities in all aspects of life and work, especially direct selling.

Lastly, what is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

Most people know I am the lead singer in a rock band, but they probably are not aware that I also dance salsa and that is how I met my wife!